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Friday, 27 November 2015 12:11

Fake Syrian Passports Used in Attempt to Enter US

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In this Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 photo, Amena Abomosa, 43, holds the passports of her five-person household containing visas to allow them to resettle as refugees in In this Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 photo, Amena Abomosa, 43, holds the passports of her five-person household containing visas to allow them to resettle as refugees in

When news reached America that one of the Islamic French bombers in the recent horrific attack that left a 129 dead and wounded hundreds more, used a fake Syrian passport, Homeland Security and other US law enforcement agencies began to investigate whether similar fraudulent passports were being used to gain entry into America.

Last week, evidence did surface that established the threat to the US is indeed real when Honduran authorities intercepted six Syrian nationals traveling on doctored Greek passports, including five who had been trying to reach the United States.

While police said there were no reason to believe there were any links to last week's deadly attacks in Paris, it is now conclusive that Muslims are trying to gain illegal entry into the US. And since the Islamic State, or ISIS, claimed credit for the shooting and suicide bombing assault, it is likely they are trying to settle “sleeper cells” in the US for terrorist acts on American soil. ISIS has long said it is at a state of war with the US and says American interests are targets of its Jihad against Christians and the West.

Five of the men detained by Honduran authorities in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa had arrived from Costa Rica. When questioned about their intentions they said they, “had been planning to head to the border with neighboring Guatemala” according to police. The police also said their passports had been doctored by replacing the photographs with those of the Syrians.

Anibal Baca, speaking for the Honduran police, said “the five were trying to reach the United States.”

“We received information from (fellow) police services that these five Syrians left Greece and passed through Turkey, Brazil, Argentina and San Jose in Costa Rica before finally reaching Tegucigalpa," Baca said.

Television footage given to American broadcast media, showed the men dressed in casual clothing and grinning as police officers escorted them from the airport. They were escorted into the back of a police pick-up truck, flanked by officers with pistols on their hips and taken to detention where they underwent extensive questioning.

The Honduran newspaper, La Prensa, said the five men detained on Tuesday were aged 23 to 33.

"Greek diplomats arrived in the terminal area and confirmed the men didn't speak a word of Greek," the paper said.

The Honduran government said it had requested Interpol intervention into the investigation. While the use of false passports is increasingly commonplace among Syrian refugees who often find themselves in other countries, it is also a documented method of illegal entry into other countries used by ISIS and other terrorist organizations to plant sleeper cells.

Other credible news sources have claimed “a sixth man was turned away on Friday on arrival by plane from El Salvador, and was sent back to Salvador.” While these are the first confirmed and documented cases of illegal entry by Syrians into Honduras, the Central American country only started compiling records in 2010.

Baca said that while there are no documented cases he and fellow officers have seen and spoken with other migrants that originated from the Middle East and that all of them said they wanted to “get into the United States.”

This case does appear to form a pattern of such illegal entry attempts. A week ago, police in the former Dutch Caribbean colony of St Maarten arrested three Syrian men arriving on a flight from Haiti. They were also traveling on false documents, this time Greek passports.

Similarly, in the South American country of Paraguay, on Sunday police detained another Syrian man traveling on a stolen Greek passport.

Since it now appears certain that at least one of the Paris attackers entered Europe on a false passport by blending with migrants registered in Greece, Western nations have started to question their willingness to take in refugees from war-torn Syria.

One US Senator, James Risch of Idaho said he found the news "very troubling," and said while it could just be an innocent attempt to avoid be turned away from the US, he also believed the men could be part of a militant “sleeper cell planted in the United States for terrorist activities.

"It is very, very suspicious and I can tell you that the intelligence community is drilling down on these five right now," Risch told CNN. He also added that U.S. intelligence does not know the Syrians' “motive.”

"So far they have not used the southern path to enter our very porous southern border. They haven't done that in the past. This was clearly an attempt to do this by five Syrians, and what they had in mind after they got here, that remains to be seen," said Risch, who is a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence.

As the evidence mounts over terrorist infiltration into the US from the influx of migrants from Mexico and Central America across the U.S. southern border, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has said if he is elected he will construct a wall between the neighbors.

Polls show the overwhelming majority of US citizens support closing the border and most favor some form of deportation of illegals, particularly those with criminal pasts or where the evidence shows illegal immigrants used “anchor baby” laws or have been living in the US on forged documents and not paying taxes.

With almost uncanny foresight, even before the Paris attacks occurred, Trump had told voters and the media he would “send all Syrian refugees accepted by the United States back to Syria if he is elected.”

Since 2014, other countries in South America, particularly Brazil and Argentina, have seen a notable increase in asylum-seekers, particularly Syrians, according to the UN refugee agency. And while some say it is still uncommon for refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries to seek asylum after crossing the United States' southern border, the numbers are increasing. Border officials also note that once in the US, if a Syrian was part of an ISIS cell, they would just blend into a Muslim neighborhood and not claim asylum for fear of being discovered by US law enforcement agencies.

Meanwhile in Washington, Republicans, who have now been j0ined by some Democrats, are railing against President Barack Obama's plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year. The most recent political attack on Obama’s plan was legislation by Congress to require additional scrutiny of Syrians trying to enter the US. Obama has threatened to veto any regulations that, “makes his plans harder to implement.”

Just last week, ISIS, on social media and through video releases says it will “launch more devastating attacks on Europe and the United States, giving even greater concern to the use of fraudulent passports by those from the Middle East.

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